Just the other day I received some income and before I even deposited the check into our bank account, I opened up my Catch the Fire DFW App on my iPhone and returned the tithe. This means I made a donation of 10% of the income to our church family. I use the language “returned” the tithe instead of “gave” the tithe for a very specific reason. The principle of tithing is not a giving principle. It’s a “returning” principle. The tithe belongs to the Lord, so we don’t “give” it to him, we “return” it to him. I suppose for some this could seem to be just be semantics. For me, this language helps me, not just in the stewardship of money, but in the stewardship of my heart.
Here are some thoughts about tithing that I hope will help you discover the joy of tithing.
1. I do NOT tithe in order to satisfy the requirement of the Law. Yes, tithing was part of the Mosaic Law in the Old Covenant. But I am no longer governed by the Law. The New Covenant is a completely new system of government, by the Spirit. It is love motivated internally, not Law motivating externally that moves me to return the tithe.
2. I do NOT tithe out of the fear of punishment. We do not need to appease the “big punishing God” in the sky who will curse my income and resources if I don’t tithe. Perfect love drives out the fear that has to do with punishment. We serve a good Father and there is no room for being motivated by fear.
3. I tithe out of an awareness that God is my source. Every time I contribute the FIRST 10% of income, I make a prophetic declaration that I am not my own source. God is my source. I actually have a great capacity to try to do life thinking it all depends on me, that I’m my own source. Crazy, I know. But there’s something about the concrete communication of returning the tithe that keeps my heart and thoughts rightly anchored in the reality of my dependence upon and trust in God as my provider. Putting God first in my finances is an expression of worship.
4. I tithe to participate in the economy of heaven. Heaven is an economy of abundance and limitless resource. Earth is a place of lack and limitation. It is usually our acute awareness of lack and limitation–in other words, our awareness of earthly reality–that prevents us from tithing. At least that’s been the case for me in the past. Returning the tithe helps me shift my perception, the orientation of my heart and mind, toward heavenly reality, positioning me to live life from a place of abundance, where nothing is impossible. In tithing, I choose to participate in heaven’s economy. Putting God first in my finances is an expression of spiritual warfare.
5. I tithe as a practical way to express my support for my CTFDFW family and the assignment God has given us. Our assignment as a church family requires resources, and returning the tithe very practically provides the needed support. I love CTFDFW. I love the “why” and the “who” and the”how” and the “what” of our local church. My heart is deeply invested in who we are called to become and what we are called to do together, and this heart level investment becomes very real when I return the tithe. Putting God first in my finances is an expression of family.
To this point, we haven’t taught much on tithing or giving at CTFDFW. We don’t pass a plate. We don’t do a weekly giving sermonette. All of this is very intentional on our part. Generosity is a heart issue and must be internally motivated. Love cannot be externally pressured, so we are careful to facilitate giving in a way that maximizes space for internal motivation.
But we do believe in tithing, not as a rule to keep, but as a joy to discover. Tithing (and giving beyond) provides such concrete substance to my worship, spiritual warfare, and investment in my church family. If you’re already tithing regularly to Catch the Fire DFW, thank you. If you’re not, I invite you to start today. We often say that if, for you, the word “tithe” evokes thoughts and feelings of legalism, then just ask God what you should give and joyfully obey him. We would rather you not give at all than to give from a place of fear or law. But I would like to invite you, even challenge you, to a better way. Let’s make our tithing and giving an expression of love. That’s what New Covenant generosity looks like.
There are multiple ways we make tithing and giving easy and secure at Catch the Fire DFW.
Give on the web: Give Now
The following options link to our Catch the Fire DFW App. Downloading this app will make giving super easy and secure, and will also give you access to our blog and podcast. You can also go to the App Store or the Google Play Store and search for Catch the Fire DFW.
Give on your iPhone/iPad.
Give on your Android device.
All of the above options give you the opportunity to give securely using your credit/debit card, or via ACH (directly from your checking account using your routing and account number). You can also setup a recurring contribution to make it even easier.
You can also give by check or cash in the offering boxes in the back of the main auditorium during our weekly service. Make your check payable to Catch the Fire DFW. You can also mail your check to:
Catch the Fire DFW
PO Box 54457
Hurst, TX 76054